Detroit man charged in double slaying at senior complex

James Fleming

A 69-year-old Detroit man was formally charged Thursday in connection with a fatal double shooting at a Detroit senior citizens apartment building.

James Fleming was arraigned before Magistrate Jeffrey Kleparek in 36th District Court on two counts of first-degree murder and other charges in the slayings of 50-year-old Kenneth Darnell Hall, a security guard at the building and 66-year-old Bernice Clark, both Detroiters.

The shooting occurred around 9:10 p.m. Nov. 13 at an apartment in the 800 block of Dickerson on Detroit's east  side. Police found both Hall and Clark wounded in the building's first-floor hallway. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.

Before the shooting, Fleming and a 30-year-old woman allegedly were drinking and using drugs in his apartment when he told her he was going to tie her up, beat her and have sex with her.

According to authorities, the woman grabbed a knife, which Fleming took from her, but she escaped and reported the incident to officers at the scene.

Fleming allegedly ran after her and got locked out of the building. The security guard, working his first day on the job, let Fleming in, then was shot.

Fleming allegedly fired his weapon at others as he left the building, fatally striking Clark.

 Lori Mireles-Smith. who represented the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office at the hearing, asked the magistrate to deny bond for Fleming, saying the defendant has a long and violent criminal history that includes criminal sexual conduct in Michigan and Illinois as well as an arrest in Texas.

Mireles-Smith said the victim count could have been higher "but for the quick actions " of some of the people at the scene.

Fleming has a scheduled probable cause conference Dec. 21 and a preliminary examination Dec. 28, both before Judge Michael Wagner of 36th District Court.
A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf. 

Fleming had been on the run since the incident and was brought back to Metro Detroit from Virginia.

Beside the murder charges, he was arraigned on three counts of assault with intent to murder and six counts of felony firearm, in addition to one count each of kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and felon in possession of a firearm.

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